IndyCar: Helio, RHR, Pagenaud, Carpenter take part in tire test at IMS


The first big domino in IndyCar’s Silly Season for 2014 may finally be about ready to topple over.

Simon Pagenaud has been at the center of rumors about departing his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team to find a new home among the series’ “Big 3” teams.

During today’s Firestone tire test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the fast Frenchman confirmed that he’s made his choice for 2015.

According to Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star, Pagenaud wouldn’t say which team would acquire his talents – only mentioning that “[the contract] is not fully done yet.”

Meanwhile, as Pagenaud bides his time, SPM is set to test several drivers next week on the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course; Cavin reports that they’re Rodolfo Gonzales, Rocky Moran Jr., and another to be announced later.

But for today, the main focus at the Brickyard was the test, which also featured Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport, Helio Castroneves of Team Penske (pictured), and Ed Carpenter of CFH Racing, the newly merged entity of his team and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

Naturally, with Hunter-Reay and Castroneves having duked it out this past May for victory in the Indianapolis 500, conversation turned toward their incredible battle that Hunter-Reay won.

“When you watch from outside the car, yeah, that was maybe marginal,” Hunter-Reay told about his electrifying duel with the Brazilian. “But when you’re going for the win at the Indy 500, you’ll do anything. That’s what was driving me. I was going wherever I could get the car.”

Hunter-Reay denied Castroneves what would have been his record-tying fourth ‘500’ win. But whereas Castroneves was visibly deflated in May, he seems to be at peace now.

“The only way to stop Ryan would have been to do something that I wouldn’t have been able to sleep with at night,” he said.

As for the CFH camp, today”s test served as a chance for the Ed Carpenter Racing and Fisher/Hartman sides to work together. Carpenter’s future teammate, SFHR pilot Josef Newgarden, also appeared in the team’s pit box to support the team.